Sunday, December 07, 2003

The turnout wasn't something I really expected but it was really, really good all the same. I got to the Eva Macapagal Terminal (behind Manila Hotel) around 5:45 p.m. thinking that by the time I got there there would be a small group of batchmates waiting around, and was I wrong again. It was some time before I figured out that I should be mowsying on inside and not wait any longer of them to arrive (I've read and memorized the banners and scheduled arrival of the SuperFerries hanging on the fence). Our contact agents for SuperFerry were there waiting at the entrance and they had me register first before escorting me to a cart full of finger foods. These weren't part of the official buffet but was arranged beforehand by our batch rep Robin for the early birds. He was next to arrive together with his girl friends who would be helping us with the registration and collection of payments.

It's not exactly The Love Boat but it's close enough.

After some more waiting the coordinator gave us the go signal to go right up the boat and start whatever it is we were supposed to be doing.

The beauteous reg girls: Michelle, Sophia, Yvette, and Susan.

Our batchmates didn't start arriving till around 8 p.m. They came in groups and grins reached from ear to ear once they saw each other. There were others who haven't changed much and and there were some who got plump.

Jay, David, and Ali: kahit kailan kaibigan.

Among those who came (someone we're deeply grateful to for arranging the venue) was the Manila Mayor's son Ali. He wasn't able to attend our 10th year reunion and this is something we aim to rectify for the others' sake too. We started with the buffet right after everyone finished with the registration. The sumptuous feast was obviously dripping with cholesterol but for this one night who cares? We had our pick of beef caldereta, beef steak, pansit, stir fried vegetables, sinigang na hipon (shrimp with tamarind broth), lechon (whole roasted pig), chicken barbecue, and a cold glass of ice tea.

The riot "bakal boys" of Machine Shop and Industrial Drafting.

People grouped around around two long tables barkadahan style, that Robin had to encourage the others to start mingling since this wasn't a class reunion but a batch reunion.

Haaaaaaappy! If it would only make you haaaaaappy!

Because of time constraint we decided to forego with the other planned programs and go right ahead with the games starting with a beer drinking contest. Robin had to call, or rather, assign some volunteers from our friends who were being a little shy about this. After the first game, Robin then gave a small speech about the purpose of this December reunion with regards to the upcoming annual Alumni Homecoming in our school and the 15th Anniversary reunion in March. Then the President of the Don Bosco Alumni (Batch '79) was called on stage to give a speech. I didn't hear much of the speech but from what I did understand later from the others he gave a congratulatory address to us and plugged a bit of the charitable event they're doing for the disabled and special kids they're having today.

Then the next contest was introduced: a videoke challenge. Filipinos are notorious for taking the mike and start singing their lungs out, never mind if they do have the voice for it or not. For a larger gathering of people who know each other people would hesitate to come up the stage and sing in front of their friends. So Robin first called some of his girl friends to warm up and shame some of us to boldly follow in her steps and take the stage. It actually took a lot of songs and three girls to sing them before a couple of us peeps were encouraged enough to sing. When the girls also started dancing so did a few of us (we're not really the singing and dancing types whenever we're all together).

Rico, Archie, Michelle, and Sophia: videoke kings & queens.

The program was eventually abandoned and those who intially took the mike hel d on to it for the duration of the evening. By this time people had already warmed up to get over their initial reluctance to mingle and started talking and joking around.

Sushil, Edric, Gary, Bryan, and Allan: mga masyadong serious.

Mga bad boys ng Batch '89 (at isang singit).

... at yung mga matitino(?)

Not much changed for these guys.

It was nearly close to 3 a.m. (the extended time limit given to us by the gracious administrators of WG&A) and people were already tired so before going on to our separate ways we took one last shot of the attendees.

These are the same clowns that inspired the characters for my first comic strip CLASS.

Afterwards a small group of us settled on the deck to continue our talks and jokes. Jorge wasn't able to come for still unknown reasons at this time. He was supposed to bring the souvenir shirts we were going to wear at the Homecoming. After about an hour on deck a drizzle began to fall. Drizzle turned to sleet when half of the group went home to their wives but the other half wanted to go someplace else and wait for the sunrise. Since I was riding with Robin and he himself was going with them I had no choice but go with them. I was so exhausted (it was a struggle just to keep my eyes open) I couldn't help but fall asleep halfway through the hanging out. Robin good naturedly offered to bring me home at 6:35 in the morning. Pictures courtesy of David Cuenco's Yahoo album.

* * *

Calista Jade still fast asleep in her crib.

I also attended the baptism of the first born daughter of my high school chum Reno. He wasn't also able to attend last night's festivities to take care of this. Good thing I woke up a good hour before the ceremony. I'm a stand in for his best friend and part of our barkada who's now in Canada. The attending priest had a lot of explanation for every thing that he's supposed to do during the baptism, he should have kept it short. Merienda followed later after the ceremony in Cafe Ysabel.

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